Andretti Autosport junior Sebastian Wheldon will start his single-seater racing career this year in the Skip Barber Formula Race Series (SBFRS) as Skip Barber becomes the team’s official racing school.
The Skip Barber Racing School was established in 1975 and SBFRS has been about almost as long. It began as a Formula Ford 1600-based series and now uses Ford-powered first-generation Mygale Formula 4 cars with Goodyear tyres.
The Andretti deal follows a similar one Skip Barber signed with Andersen Promotions to become the official racing school of the IndyCar-supporting USF Pro championships until 2025. The 2023 SBFRS champion will get a $100,000 scholarship to advance to USF Juniors.
Multiple members of the famous Andretti racing family made their formative single-seater steps in Skip Barber’s training programmes, and Wheldon’s late father Dan – the 2005 IndyCar champion – also attended sessions run by the racing school.
“I am super excited to compete in my first ever car race in less than a week,” said Wheldon. “I have already spent a few days with Skip Barber doing their five-day racing school and it was an awesome experience.
“All the team members are so knowledgeable, and I am looking forward to learning more as I start racing. It’s an incredible opportunity to have the support of Andretti Autosport and [team sponsor] Gainbridge in a programme that has launched the careers of several notable professional open-wheel racing drivers.”
The eight-round SBFRS season starts at Road Atlanta this weekend, and includes races at United States Grand Prix venue Circuit of the Americas.
Wheldon has been an Andretti junior since 2021, and the 14-year-old conducted his first F4 test last August. He started 2022 by becoming USA Winter Series champion on X30 Junior karts, while younger brother Oliver – also an Andretti junior – won the same title for X30 Mini karts.
“Skip Barber Racing School represents one of the best training opportunities in the world for young racing talent,” said Andretti Autosport chairman Michael Andretti.
“We’ve been fortunate to have a strong friendship over the years and are proud to be able to evolve this into a greater opportunity for our future racers.
“Sebastian will take a big step in his career this year competing in the SBFRS with Gainbridge, and we’re excited to watch his continued development. I have no doubt he’ll be up to speed quickly and will grow immensely in the Skip Barber programme.”